3 Sales Mistakes You Might Be Making

Sales Mistake #1: Failure to Listen

Sometimes, we get too focused on what we have to offer, and all the cool things we’re up to. When this happens, we get so caught up that that we forget to just sit down and listen to the person we’re talking with, ask them some questions, and maybe discover a problem or a pain that we could offer a solution for. If you don’t sit down and listen to your prospect, you’ll never discover why they should choose to work with you because you won’t identify their problem or their pain. So, mistake #1 is failing to listen.

Sales Mistake #2: Failure to Follow Up

I believe that this is one of the most under-utilized tactics in sales to get someone to come to your side. We simply don’t follow-up! Sometimes our turnaround is just too slow. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you have a prospect who’s reached out to you in an email. They have a question for you. And you sit on that email for 3-5 days. That’s over with, kiss that opportunity goodbye. Because now you’re teaching them that they can’t expect to work with you and get answers when they want answers.

Do we live in a world of instant gratification or not? You already know the answer to that. People want answers now. So the sooner you can get back to people, the better chance you have of them coming to an agreement with you and choosing to sign with you. The turnaround (in my opinion) needs to be within 12 hours. If you cannot get back to someone within 12 hours, you need to let them know.

“I’ve received your message, and I’ll get back to you by this date.” Give them a sense of security in you. If you’re going to be gone at a conference for a few days, you need to set up an automatic reply on whatever platforms you’re using. If it’s social media, you don’t have a choice. Unless someone’s managing your social media or texts, you’ll have to suck it up and find a way to get back to people.

The difference between those who are good at what they do and those who are wildly successful is this: they’re willing to do what others cannot do or will not do.

Following up is part of that. What if you fail to follow up when someone initially reaches out to you? That’s their very first inquiry to you and you don’t get back to them right away? Already you’re teaching them what it’s like to do business with you. I wouldn’t sign up for that, would you?

What about thanking someone for their business? If you don’t do it, that’s another failure to follow up!

Someone signs an agreement with you, they spend money with you, and now you fail to give them a thank-you? Or now that they’ve actually done business with you, your customer service goes down the drain, you don’t get back to them when they need you, they call you and you don’t respond to them right away? Do you think they’ll ever buy from you again?

Or here’s the bigger question: do you have a chance to tap into their network? If they have a friend who needs you, would they consider you now or would they say, “Well he or she was really great to work with until we actually paid them, but now I don’t ever hear from them!”  

You don’t want to be that person.

Sales Mistake #3: Failure to Ask for the Sale

You may sit down and listen, and you may get back to someone right away every time, and you may be working hard, and you might think, “I’m doing everything right. I’m doing the best I can do.”

At that point you know that you’re providing amazing service to this person. But your biggest failure could be that you haven’t even asked them one time to do business with you.

Think about children. When they want something, they will not give it up. They will ask for whatever it is their little hearts desire over and over until someone gives in. We can learn something from them! You have to be a little tenacious. It’s not being pushy to say, “You deserve to work with someone like me.” And you need to be prepared for the answer to be “yes.”

There’s a difference between being a supportive salesperson and a dominant person. There are some personality types that will actually say, “You need to do business with me, I am the best person to take care of you.”

I would love it if someone said that to me, and I would believe them! Because confidence trumps experience. If you’re a supportive personality and you could never imagine yourself being that aggressive or assertive with prospects, then I recommend that you ask one simple question: “Does this feel like the right fit for you? I would love to work with you. If you’re ready and this feels like the right fit for you, here’s my pen, we can sign this and get it going.”

Obviously this is applicable to different areas; you need to translate this into your industry and your life.

The Takeaway

I’d like you to choose one of those three failures that you felt the most connected to.

I definitely know that my biggest struggle of these three is the listening part. I’m on top of it when it comes to following up with them and asking them for the business, but I don’t really sit and give them a chance to talk to me. It’s all about what I have to say. That’s my place of failure.

Start by following these two simple steps:

#1: Identify your failure.

#2: Take just a few minutes to brainstorm what you are going to do differently and how you’re going to do it differently.

An example: “I’m going to be a better listener.”

Well, you need an action item, something specific. Mine is this: In every meeting, I’m going to start off by asking some questions. This will become habitual. And I’m going to sit back and listen, and try to take notes on what painful or problematic issues I’m hearing for each person, which, sometime soon, I can respond to with a solution.

And what kind of message does that send? “You know, today I just want to listen to you. I’m going to hear you out. I’m going to listen to your responses for these questions I have for you today. And I’m going to take some time and then get back to you.”

Well, I think that sounds like you care a bit more than maybe some others do, because you’re willing to take the time to think of a solution for me.

Getting back to someone doesn’t mean that you’re losing out on the sale if you don’t get them to sign right away. You can ask for the sale at that moment and then say, “I’d like to do business with you, and my goal is for us to work together. I’m prepared for us to sign an agreement; however, I’m going to listen to what you had to say today and put together a solid plan of action for us.”

Friends, you will be successful at sales. Sometimes it’s not a lack of knowledge about what we’re doing or selling, but rather the habits that we’re forming or have formed that are prohibiting our success.

And if we can recognize the “downs” and fix them, the “up” will take care of itself, and you’ll be wildly successful. The key to substantial success lies beyond the technique.

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